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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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By Maggie Hall, Public Information Director

January 09, 2019

The Tobacco Program staff at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) works with business to assist them in going tobacco free for greater health and productivity. The staff partnered with the Pinellas County Job Corps Center, 500 22nd St. S., in St. Petersburg, to help it become a Tobacco Free Worksite (TFW).

The Pinellas location is part of the national Job Corps training program that provides no-cost education and career technical training program to young people ages 16 to 24. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and operated by ODLE Management LLC.

To make the healthy change positive and achievable for its students and staff, the Pinellas Job Corps Center announced the project in December 2017 and developed a comprehensive plan of action to help stakeholders be successful in quitting. On July 1, 2018, the policy was implemented and enforced.

From its Center Director, Samuel Kolapo, to center management and staff, everyone pitched in to highlight and support the smoke-free policy. Nicotine replacement therapy, counseling and support were provided to encourage quitting.

Kolapo stated, “As a Tobacco Free Worksite (TFW) Center, we are not only protecting non- smoking students and staff from passive smoking but also encourage smokers to quit. Our program helps youth to be healthy, independent, productive and responsible tax-paying members of our local community. Currently 90 percent of the Pinellas County Job Corps graduates obtain full time employment, enroll in higher education or enlist in the military. It is a life-changing program.”

“The successful transition by the Job Corp was very impressive and underscores the accomplishments that can be achieved when using a positive and supportive approach” said DOH-Pinellas Tobacco Policy Coordinator Susan Jenkins.

Businesses that want to go smoke-free to create a healthier, more productive work environment can contact Jenkins for assistance by calling (727) 275-6247.

For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to (727) 824-6900 or follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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